John Boehner: Conservative Groups’ Reaction to Budget Deal Is ‘Ridiculous’

 Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) answers reporters questions during his weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitors Center at the U.S. Capitol December 5, 2013.
National Journal
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Matt Berman
Dec. 11, 2013, 5:59 a.m.

House Speak­er John Boehner went off on out­side con­ser­vat­ive groups Wed­nes­day morn­ing for push­ing against the new budget deal.

“They’re us­ing our mem­bers and they’re us­ing the Amer­ic­an people for their own goals,” he said. “This is ri­dicu­lous.”

Sev­er­al key con­ser­vat­ive groups are against the se­quester re­lief with­in the new budget deal.

“Though con­ser­vat­ives sup­port more spend­ing re­straint, the dis­cre­tion­ary spend­ing lim­its defined in the Budget Con­trol Act rep­res­ent a prom­ise to the Amer­ic­an people to mar­gin­ally slow the growth of gov­ern­ment,” reads a let­ter signed by the heads of Her­it­age Ac­tion, the Fam­ily Re­search Coun­cil, and the Amer­ic­an Con­ser­vat­ive Uni­on. Her­it­age Ac­tion’s Mi­chael Need­ham penned an op-ed in USA Today on Tues­day call­ing the deal “a step back­ward.” The Cato In­sti­tute called the deal a “huge Re­pub­lic­an cave-in.”

Dan Holler, the com­mu­nic­a­tions dir­ect­or at Her­it­age Ac­tion, re­spon­ded to Boehner’s com­ments Wed­nes­day morn­ing:

Amer­ic­ans are deeply con­cerned about the dir­ec­tion of the coun­try. Over the next few days, law­makers will have to ex­plain to their con­stitu­ents, many of whom are our mem­bers, what they’ve achieved by in­creas­ing spend­ing, in­creas­ing taxes and of­fer­ing up an­oth­er round of prom­ises wait­ing to be broken. That will be a really tough sell back home. Mean­while, we’ll con­tin­ue fight­ing to achieve our goal, which is cre­ate an Amer­ica where free­dom, op­por­tun­ity, prosper­ity and civil so­ci­ety flour­ish.

Rep. Paul Ry­an also ad­dressed his con­ser­vat­ive crit­ics Wed­nes­day, call­ing the at­tacks from the right “a strange new nor­mal.” Ry­an, for his part, is do­ing everything he can to re­mind his crit­ics that he’s a con­ser­vat­ive.

Boehner has a tough path ahead of him as he tries to get this deal passed with Re­pub­lic­an sup­port. But, so far, he’s mak­ing it clear that he won’t go down easy.